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Ep. 5 – Learning & Dopamine ft. Alexandra Usypchuk

By Jeremy Ullman

Alexandra is a quirky, curious, ambitious, and high-energy Master's student at Concordia University. Groundbreaking research is happening everywhere all the time, and Alexandra's lab is no exception. She's studying the role of dopamine in learning using optogenetics - or the manipulation of genes using light! On today's episode we discuss everything from neutransmitters to models of Pavlovian conditioning to exposure therapy and context. What are Serotonin and Dopamine? What are the benefits of studying rats? And how does it all relate to finding a crisp $50 bill on the side of the road? Answers to these and more on episode 5 of Abstract!  For the foundational paper on plateau curves AKA. the Rescorla-Wagner Model, see Rescorla & Wagner, 1972. You can reach Alexandra on Twitter: @alex_usypchuk Here's one of her publications in Nature Neuroscience: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-019-0574-1

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